GENRE: Historical Romantic Suspense (Regency)
Four very different sisters compete for love during an exciting London season: a celebrated actress with a heart of gold, a shy yet daring wallflower, and the artistic, illegitimate daughter of a nobleman.
Caught up in a high-stakes game of intrigue and deceit orchestrated by their sister, the ton's reigning beauty, each must play their part to bring a dangerous traitor to justice while finding a man deserving of their love and special talents.
The gentlemen of the ton are about to discover a woman made just for them.
If you enjoy Delilah Marvelle and Liz Carlyle, you'll love Daughters of Sin, a series that combines sensuous Regency romance with lashings of mystery and intrigue.
“Somethin’ wrong, m’lady?”
Araminta jerked up her head as Jane entered the room. She’d been about to sweep her arm across the surface of her dressing table to express her outrage at what had just occurred but since Jane was already the keeper of Araminta’s most damning secrets it was a relief to be able to vent her spleen on her maid rather than risk breaking her favorite silver-backed mirror.
“Can you believe it, Jane, but Hetty has invited me to The Grange for a few days so the babies can be admired by all and sundry but she says Debenham isn’t welcome.”
“That don’t sound like Miss Hetty though I reckon she’s right about it bein’ dangerous havin’ Lord Debenham and Sir Aubrey in the same room.”
“Don’t you be saucy with me, Jane!” Araminta sank down upon the bed and covered her face with her hands. She loathed Jane’s references to the smoldering mistrust between the so-called “dangerous gentlemen” Araminta and her sister Hetty had married respectively.
Dropping her hands, she offered Jane a smile. It was safer, she decided, to change the subject. “Can you believe the gossip over that actress, Kitty La Bijou and Lord Nash! Mama was shocked by such an ill-matched coupling when she read the story to papa last night.” She sent a narrow-eyed look at Jane, not sure where her maid’s loyalties lay on this, for Miss Bijou had in fact rendered Araminta a very valuable service when Araminta’s baby had been in danger of being born at a most inconvenient time. “Yes, indeed, mama and papa were both horrified to hear that a man of Lord Nash’s standing would even consider marrying a common piece like Miss Bijou. And now she’s Lord Silverton’s mistress instead. Well, Lord Silverton can enjoy his lovely little plaything but he’ll have to pander to a wife soon enough. I’ve a mind to hint to his poor bride-to-be that there are hidden depths to her beloved.”
“You know Miss Mandelton?”
“Not in the slightest. But I’ve no doubt she’s a dashing piece. A man like Lord Silverton could have his pick.”
Jane seemed to consider this for some time as she gathered the various discarded pieces of clothing that lay about the floor. “Lord Silverton certainly is the ‘andsomest man after my Jem I ever laid me eyes on,” she said as she rose and fixed her mistress with a challenging smile.
“Enough about your Jem when I have such troubles that need two heads, Jane.” Araminta studied her new half boots then asked, “How am I going to respond with dignity to my younger sister’s latest insult?”
Araminta didn’t like her maid’s tone but chose to let it pass for the moment as she rose and went to her wardrobe in a quest to decide upon the most appropriate ensemble for her intended meeting with the handsome and noble Lord Ludbridge later that afternoon. She knew Jane would disapprove but , goodness, how much more noble Lord Ludbridge was than her own Debenham though nobody—least of all her sister—was allowed to hint that her husband was deficient in anything, must less morals. “Yes! Hetty can’t tell me Debenham isn’t welcome. Besides, it’s not her decision.”
“So you’d really like to take Debenham to The Grange and to spend a few days with Sir Aubrey—?” There was a telling pause before Jane added, “And your sister and her new babe?”
Now that it was phrased in such terms, Araminta couldn’t truthfully admit that the prospect was anything other than horrific. Her chagrin stemmed from the fact she just hadn’t liked Hetty telling her what to do or suggesting Debenham was less than perfect. Certainly, they’d all managed to put on a decent public show and appear at the theatre together as two supposedly harmonious couples to stop tongues wagging but they’d rarely rubbed up against each other in any setting as intimate as each other’s drawing rooms.
“I have an idea!” Araminta swung round, delighted that, yet again, she’d hit upon a cunning plan to solve the problem. “It’s my birthday shortly and papa asked only yesterday if I had any special requests. At the time I said no, because I don’t like to place burdens on other people, as you are aware, Jane. But now I know exactly what will bring us all together so that we can mend the rifts that divide us. A house party! At The Grange! Mama and Papa shan’t mind, as it was always expected I’d be mistress there some day until my life took such a dreadful turn. Besides, it’s such a small birthday request.” Yes, a lavish birthday celebration at The Grange would be just the answer. Her eyes moistened with sentiment as she stared out of the window onto the rain-darkened streets. “We used to have such wonderful house parties there.”
“You mean like the one where Sir Archie and his good lady were trying to con Mr. Cranbourne into parting with a few monkeys over that spider racket wot were rigged?” Jane sniffed as she picked up a shawl that Araminta had just finished trying with her dress but had let slip to the floor. “And where Sir Archie’s ladyfriend for that evening—Lady Julia I believe it were—went boatin’ at midnight wiv poor Mr Edgar wot you decided you wanted to marry after he started making eyes at Miss Hetty. But then their boating trip went wrong and he slipped into the water and drowned?” Jane eyed her mistress beadily. “That were the last house party at The Grange and I don’t reckon it were such a good one.”
“Then all the more reason to have another one!” Araminta responded brightly. She would not let Jane put a damper on her latest idea which was rapidly growing into an occasion to rival any she’d attended in London. “A splendid house party this time. A house party that gathers together all the rich, handsome and interesting people that we know. And I propose that we invite Miss Mandelton and Lord Silverton. Oh, and Lord Ludbridge, too.” Excitement was nearly getting the better of her as she returned to her wardrobe to rummage through the lovely gowns she now had the figure to wear again though of course she’d have to get her dressmaker to concoct something entirely new and fetching for the occasion. “Then Hetty and Sir Aubrey will have lots of people to worry about other than my supposedly wicked husband, won’t they Jane?” she added over her shoulder.
A great sense of happiness was fast settling upon her. London had been perfectly beastly for weeks now with Debenham constantly telling her what she could and couldn’t do. Well, he’d not go against her father, and if Lord Partington were hosting her birthday party, Debenham would have no say with regard to the guest list.
For the first time since before William was born, Araminta was looking forward to enjoying herself.
Beverley was seventeen when she bundled up her first 500+ page romance and sent it to a publisher. Rejection followed swiftly. Drowning one’s heroine on the last page, she was informed, was not in line with the expectations of romance readers.
So Beverley became a journalist.
After a whirlwind romance with a handsome Norwegian bush pilot she met in Botswana, Beverley discovered her “Happy Ever After”, saved her heroine from drowning in her next manuscript and had her first Regency romance published in 2009.
Since then, she’s written more than fifteen sizzling historical romances laced with mystery, intrigue and suspense under the name Beverley Oakley.
She also writes psychological historicals, and Colonial-Africa-set romantic suspense, as Beverley Eikli.
With an inspiring view of a Gothic nineteenth-century insane asylum across the road, Beverley lives north of Melbourne with her gorgeous husband, two lovely daughters and rambunctious Rhodesian Ridgeback, Mombo, named after the Okavango Delta safari lodge where she and her husband met.
Beverley will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner, and a boxed set of the first 3 books of the Daughters of Sin series to another randomly drawn winner (US ONLY), both awarded via rafflecopter during the tour.